ALBERT FOLCH — Interview
We are pleased to publish our interview with Albert Folch. Founder and art director of the Barcelona-based design office Folch Studio, he talks about his background and his approach of graphic and editorial design. Albert Folch worked on many identity design and for several magazines like METAL, Tiger and Apartamento in which he was part of the foundation for that last one.
Hello Albert, how are you ?
Fine. Travelling with the AVE from Madrid to Barcelona after giving a workshop.
Can you introduce yourself ? Tell us more about your background and how the studio is born ?
When I was studying geology I discovered graphic design thanks to an electronic music producer. I had started with some friends and with who I had to design some communication pieces. After studying sciences for almost two years, I decided to quit everything and start studying graphic design. Alongside my studies I’ve worked in several studios until I joined Base Design. There I’ve learned almost everything I needed to know to start my own studio. After moving for a short period of time to Antwerp (Belgium), where I studied photography, I started working as a freelance graphic designer. As time passed by, more and more work arrived, so I professionalized my situation and founded my own company – Folch Studio.
Where is the studio based and what do you like about this place ?
From the very beginning I’ve set my studio in Poblenou – one of Barcelona’s neighborhoods. It’s an industrial area, very close to the city center, between the beach and the main Park from Barcelona – “La Ciutadella”. Our space, which we share with Architectura-G, is an industrial building with wide areas, high walls and very bright. Our location allows me to go to work with my bike (there’s very little traffic jam), it’s well connected to go in and out of the city and has the plus of being next to the beach, where one can go to eat or have a swim in the Mediterranean during the summer. It’s also a place that allows us to go surfing first thing in the morning and then at lunchtime, when waves arrive to Fórum, Barceloneta or Montgat beaches.
Can you tell us more about your approach of graphic design ?
I see graphic design as the profession I’ve chosen and that brings me happiness, stability and the ability to manage my own time. I’ve never fit to structures where I couldn’t be responsible for my own schedule, therefore design has definitely given me the chance to build a project of mine. However, I don’t face my profession as an obsession. I like to do many things and I have many other interests aside from graphic design. I live my working life intensively from Monday to Friday… and I intensively switch off from it during the weekend (except for some weekends that I need to work, such as this one!).
I approach graphic design as a communication tool that provides functionality and services to my clients, allowing them to become more competitive and successful with their products. For that purpose, I think our work is to intervene as less as possible and to give the product that “plus” element through minimal means.
You worked for several magazines like Metal, Tiger or Fucking Young. What’s your interest in editorial design ?
Our works usually start as editorial design assignments that then develop into identity and web design projects. I love editorial projects for their magnitude, for the time they take to be done, for designing an “object” and for the demand of their production. It’s a field in which you need to work in art direction, photography editorials, typography, content, production processes… Also one must learn and understand the market, the selling points, the distribution…
You made some typefaces. What’s your approach of typography ?
We have only designed typefaces for specific projects. We’ve learned about typography while drawing some alphabets. Anyway, we are not a studio with a profound knowledge on designing typefaces, we are only curious and irreverent and we have sometimes dared to do it.
Is there any designer or movement you appreciate a lot ?
Of course! There are many designers I like, and I really appreciate those I’ve had the chance to meet and to learn from. Above all, I respect those professionals who are proactive and make their own things, which not only provide a design service, but also get involved in entrepreneurial projects related to the creative field.
Which advice would you give to the next generation of designers ?
For those who leave and those who don’t want to leave their home country, I encourage them to grow and to enrich themselves. I encourage them to become strong and to be part of a generation that condemns the businessmen and politicians of today – those who have tricked us and defrauded us. I would like that the new ways we communicate with each other can lead us to collaborative solutions applied to our day to day life and, finally, I hope that our generation arises as an example of how to overcome the “plundering” we are now facing, by building a society that is managed in a more fairly and balanced way.
Which book is on your bedside table ?
National Geographic magazines.
Some projects to come ?
A book for a big fashion brand, a website for Indoors, Marset’s fair catalogues, Cortana’s new website, Odiseo Vol. 2, upcoming surf editorial project, etc…
The last word…
Interview : Dennis Moya & Tiffany Baehler – 04.13 /
Pictures are ©Folch Studio.